compliance

RETA 2021 National Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois

November 9, 2021

November 9-11, 2021

Join SCS at the RETA National Conference – the largest gathering of Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians that offers 3 full days of educational and networking activities and events. You can also take the CARO, CIRO, CRST, or CRES Review Courses.

 

Lee Pyle Lee Pyle:  Ms. Pyle is a Vice President of SCS Engineers, the Business Unit Director of our SCS Tracer Division, and our National Expert on Risk Management Plans and Process Safety Management. Ms. Pyle serves as lead engineer on many projects and has been involved in preparing over 100 Risk Management and Safety Management Programs. She is a key element in developing the Risk and Safety program at SCS Tracer Environmental, including document preparation for specific Administrating Agencies throughout the state of California and ensuring that all our risk programs are acceptable to these agencies.

Bill Lape: Mr. Lape is a Project Director for the Risk Management Group in our Tracer Environmental Division. His responsibilities include outlining project budgets, organizing project schedules, and quality control. He is experienced in developing and deploying standardized Risk Management and Process Safety Management (PSM) Programs, including process safety program implementation and PSM support to manufacturing facilities that utilize ammonia as a refrigerant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 12:00 am

The 2021 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo

June 21, 2021

June 21st – 25th, 2021

Join SCS at the Annual IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference, the largest conference and exposition dedicated to the natural refrigeration industry. We provide opportunities for the industry’s leading manufacturers, technicians, and regulators to learn more about SCS’s comprehensive programs and training.

Lee Pyle Lee Pyle:  Ms. Pyle is a Vice President of SCS Engineers, the Business Unit Director of our SCS Tracer Division, and our National Expert on Risk Management Plans and Process Safety Management. Ms. Pyle serves as lead engineer on many projects and has been involved in preparing over 100 Risk Management and Safety Management Programs. She is a key element in developing the Risk and Safety program at SCS Tracer Environmental, including document preparation for specific Administrating Agencies throughout the state of California and ensuring that all our risk programs are acceptable to these agencies.

Bill Lape: Mr. Lape is a Project Director for the Risk Management Group in our Tracer Environmental Division. His responsibilities include outlining project budgets, organizing project schedules, and quality control. He is experienced in developing and deploying standardized Risk Management and Process Safety Management (PSM) Programs, including process safety program implementation and PSM support to manufacturing facilities that utilize ammonia as a refrigerant.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 12:00 am

As your business grows, it might generate EPA defined hazardous waste

May 10, 2021

 

Fast-growing small to medium-sized businesses that use common chemicals and generate waste may be at risk for fines because they’ve grown into unfamiliar regulatory territory. Recently while helping a small business experiencing rapid growth, it occurred to me that many small and mid-size businesses generate waste that meets the EPA’s definition of “hazardous waste,” and the EPA is uncompromising when it comes to managing and disposing of hazardous waste.

While there are somewhat complicated requirements for storing hazardous waste at businesses and facilities, understanding them to maintain reasonable insurance rates and a safe work environment is worth every minute of your time. You’ll not only avoid fines, but your workers can easily avoid creating unsafe work conditions. My blog intends to help simplify the regulations to begin looking at your business as it is growing.

 

First, let’s define the terminology.

  • Solid Waste is any solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous materials abandoned or intended for disposal.
  • Hazardous Waste is a subset of solid waste considered hazardous due to its toxic, corrosive, reactive, or ignitable nature.
  • Listed Hazardous Waste is hazardous waste based on its chemical composition and use (regardless of testing results). Examples – used dry cleaning solvents, out-of-date pesticides, used paint solvents.
  • Characteristic Hazardous Waste is hazardous waste that is toxic, corrosive, reactive, or ignitable based on testing. Examples – contaminated soil where the source of contamination is unknown, spent acid or bases, waste paint and solvent mixtures of unknown composition.
  • A Generator is anyone or any company that generates hazardous waste,
    • Large Quantity Generator (LQG) – generates more than 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs.) of waste per month (depending on the materials, this is about two to five 55-gallon drums).
    • Small Quantity Generator (SQG) – generates more than 100 kg (220 lbs.) per month (less than one 55-gallon drum) but less than 1,000 kg.
    • Conditionally Exempt SQG (CESQG) – generates less than 100 kg per month.

There are exceptions to these terms, but these are the basics to help the average business manager understand a complex and complicated set of regulations.

 

The basics of understanding hazardous waste storage and management

There are many requirements for storing and labeling waste and issues related to safety, like not storing acids in metal containers or storing two incompatible wastes close together that could react and cause a fire or explosion.

For our purposes, remember that you must have a single dedicated hazardous waste storage area, and the storage area is subject to many design, construction and operating requirements.

Each type of Generator has a storage time limit and must dispose of hazardous waste from a facility or business before the deadline. Large Quantity Generators have 90 days from placing the first waste in the storage container (accumulation start date), and Small Quantity Generators have 180 days. It is mandatory to write the accumulation start date on the container label when the first waste goes inside.

 

Realistic Safety Protocols

For small to medium-sized businesses Generators, it isn’t practical to have employees carrying small containers of waste to a storage area each day or at the end of each shift. It’s inefficient and could lead to the accidental mixing of incompatible wastes. It is better to have one or two trained staff responsible for placing wastes in storage containers and keeping the labels current. To help, the EPA allows for “Satellite Accumulation” of hazardous waste at the point of generation (the shop, workstation, etc.). A facility can have multiple Satellite Accumulation areas, but each area must meet these requirements:

  1. Storing no more than 55-gallons of hazardous waste at any one Satellite Accumulation area (certain highly toxic chemicals are limited to 1 quart).
  2. Containers must be in good condition, compatible with the waste (e.g., no acids in metal containers), and kept closed unless transferring the waste to a storage container.
  3. Label all containers with “hazardous waste” and other terms describing the contents.
  4. Do not combine containers from different Satellite Accumulation areas, except in the hazardous waste storage area and after checking the labels.
  5. There is no time limit for storage within the Satellite Accumulation area as long as the volume is below the threshold for the type of waste.
  6. The accumulation start date applies only to the bulk waste containers in the hazardous waste storage area.

 

A Growing Small Business Case Study

As mentioned earlier, let’s discuss the real-world example that got this blog started. A company started a metal container painting operation and was not familiar with hazardous waste regulations. Like many, starting as a very small operation, they were lucky, and the business grew larger over a short period.

Along with growing business comes a growing facility to accommodate it, but managing all the change creates an opportunity for some things to slip between the cracks. Employees didn’t know they could not toss partially filled paint and solvent containers in the facility’s dumpster.

During an EPA inspection, the company was subject to an enforcement action for failing to characterize their waste and improper disposal of hazardous waste, among other violations. The inspection results spurred business fines, and although the EPA has the option of pursuing criminal charges, they did not in this case.

 

Simple, Practical Steps to Compliance

Upon review of the records, tour of the facility, and understanding the workflow, the company took the recommended actions creating satellite accumulation areas and a hazardous waste storage area. Starting with establishing the storage area first, we also obtained an EPA ID number for the facility.

The next important step is training employees on the hazardous waste requirements pertaining to their jobs. Because some of the paint is water-based (typically non-hazardous), the facility now trains its employees to separate water and solvent-based paints and waste products, saving on disposal costs.

The company knows it is growing at a rate that will generate more than 1,000 kg/month of paint and solvent waste; therefore, it makes sense to register as a LQG. One employee is now in charge of hazardous waste management.

There are five bulk paint stations and a touch-up operation for small parts, so six satellite accumulation areas are now functioning. Each area has a 30-gallon waste container to prevent accidental accumulation of more than 55 gallons. Busy painters tend to put waste in buckets if the drum fills before their shift ends. At the end of each shift, the hazardous waste manager checks each satellite accumulation area and transports full or nearly full containers to the hazardous waste storage area.

For less than the cost of the final negotiated fine and legal fees, the facility has a compliant program and is receiving very favorable regulatory inspections.

 

If you want to dive into the details of this topic, this link to an EPA Frequently Asked Questions webpage may be of interest: https://www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/frequent-questions-about-hazardous-waste-generation.

 

Jim Oliveros of SCS Engineers, Florida.

About the Author: Jim Oliveros, P.G is a Project Director in SCS Engineers Environmental Services practice. He has over 35 years of experience in the environmental consulting field, including hazardous waste permitting, compliance, and corrective action. Jim is experienced in conducting assessment and remediation of contaminated properties, completing multimedia compliance audits, assisting with waste stream identification, characterization and management; and, federal and state regulatory policy. He embodies SCS’s culture of delivering great results to his clients, on time and within budget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SCS Webinar: Using Drones for Operational Efficiency at Landfills, on Pipelines and Infrastructure

March 23, 2021

 Free Webinar

Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with sensors capture a multitude of readings in a single swoop, monitoring and observing locations difficult to access on foot or by vehicle. The combination of UAV-mounted technologies produces photogrammetric and aerial photographic imagery, offering the ability to take measurements from photographs. This technology enables large-scale assessments providing a comprehensive view of a landfill’s overall health.

Mitigation is faster using collected geotagged data, which enables identifying potential problematic areas such as leachate collection headers, landfill gas headers, flares, wellheads, tanks, pipelines, equipment, even buildings. You can zero in on hot spots, unidentified tanks, or terrain that could be causing runoff problems reducing the time normally spent to locate, diagnose, and mitigate.

The same technology also helps energy firms, contractors, and other businesses inspect and monitor long horizontal projects, such as power lines and pipelines, or tall vertical structures, such as bridges and high rises. Performing autonomous flights over time provides historical data assessment and visualization of work’s progress, location of workers and equipment, and assessing and documenting weather or other impacts.

SCS Engineers’ March webinar is now online! Learn more about drone-mounted technology and how to achieve the most benefit. This webinar will help you develop capabilities to assess technology’s potential for addressing operational issues now and in the future. This is a free, live webinar with Q&A – open to solid waste, landfill, landfill gas professionals, contractors, municipalities, and the energy sector.

 

 

 

Our panelists bring comprehensive expertise to the discussion, including solid waste expertise and landfill management; a licensed pilot − flying and assessing over 120 landfills, pipelines, and other infrastructure; Remote Monitoring and Control (RMC) systems including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), air quality compliance and pollutant dispersion and air measurement programs. The team answers questions throughout the presentation, and the second portion of the program is devoted to Q&A and idea exchange.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 2:00 pm

Free Webinar – Using Drones for Operational Efficiency at Landfills, on Pipelines and Infrastructure

March 18, 2021

 

Today, UAVs come mounted with various software that detects gas leaks, captures and maps progress, detects corrosion, and has many other uses. Mitigation is faster using collected geotagged data, which enables identifying potential problem areas such as leachate collection headers, landfill gas headers, flares, wellheads, tanks, pipelines, equipment, even buildings. You can zero in on hot spots, unidentified tanks, or terrain that could be causing runoff problems reducing the time normally spent to locate, diagnose, and mitigate. We’ll focus on the technologies and uses that bring the most value and benefits with plenty of time for questions.

This educational and non-commercial webinar and Q&A forum are free and open to all who want to learn more about UAV use as a diagnostic and monitoring tool.

 

Using Drones for Operational Efficiency at Landfills, on Pipelines and Infrastructure

 

DATE: Tuesday, March 23, 2021

TIME: 2 p.m. ET, 1 CT, Noon MT, 11 PT

 

Click to Register

You will receive an email with your private link to attend. Do not share this link.

 

Our panelists bring comprehensive expertise to the discussion, including solid waste expertise and landfill management; a licensed pilot − flying and assessing over 120 landfills, pipelines, and other infrastructure; Remote Monitoring and Control (RMC) systems including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), air quality compliance and pollutant dispersion and air measurement programs. The team answers questions throughout the presentation, and the second portion of the program is devoted to Q&A and idea exchange.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Great Lakes Graphics Association Quarterly Environmental Update Webinar

February 4, 2021

The Great Lakes Graphics Association is hosting its first in its 2021 Quarterly Environmental Update webinar series on February 4.   SCS Engineers staff will present on critical regulatory issues that affect the industry.

Click for more information and registration details

 

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 10:00 am

SCS Engineers Expands Landfill Services in Georgia

February 2, 2021

Landfill Services
SCS Engineers provides comprehensive landfill support at the Deans Bridge Road Landfill in Blythe, Georgia.

 

SCS Engineers now provides the Augusta Environmental Services Department with engineering, environmental and testing, and Construction Management & Quality Assurance Services at the Deans Bridge Road Landfill, in Blythe, Georgia. The facility operates under the State of Georgia Environmental Protection Division as a Subtitle D Landfill, accepting up to 1,500 tons per day of waste. Active and closed sections of the landfill comprise approximately 1,177 acres of property. Some additional acreage contains ancillary facilities such as office and maintenance buildings, customer drop off area, sediment ponds, roads, and leachate holding facilities. The Augusta Department of Environmental Services is responsible for the landfill facilities, solid waste management planning for Augusta, and all residential solid waste collections. Additionally, the Department is responsible for the Augusta Brownfield program and other environmental compliance issues.

Landfills are carefully engineered facilities closely regulated and monitored to ensure they have the protections necessary to prevent contamination of groundwater, air, and adjoining land. Best landfill management practices include collecting and treating leachate – the water that passes through a landfill. The methane gas naturally produced from decomposing landfill waste is collected and converted into various forms of energy – including compressed natural gas. This alternative fuel powers Augusta Solid Waste trucks or is a substitute for pipeline natural gas.

The Department consolidated all landfill services assigning them to SCS Engineers, a professional environmental consulting firm with over 50 years of experience in performing landfill site acceptability studies, landfill design services, landfill environmental compliance activities. The firm was already engaged in the Landfill’s Gas Collection and Control System (GCCS) expansion. The consolidation of services provides a more cost-effective approach for permitting, design, operations, monitoring, and maintenance. The comprehensive SCS team is a uniquely qualified and experienced full-service consulting and engineering team with demonstrated relevant field experience in Georgia. Leading the team is Sowmya Bulusu, a Georgia Professional Engineer, with over 12 years of landfill engineering performed in accordance with the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Solid waste management Act, and other applicable federal, state, and local rules and regulations. As the Project Director, Carlo Lebron is a registered Georgia Professional Engineer for 15 years bringing over 21 years of experience on over one hundred solid waste projects.

“The SCS team brought the five-year permit review submittal package in early, giving Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division plenty of time to deem it administratively complete,” stated Sowmya Bulusu. “Working with our field technicians, we quickly identified and brought at-risk gas wells into compliance, used our drones to provide an aerial survey of the entire landfill, saving Department funds.”

SCS Engineers’ environmental solutions directly result from our experience and dedication to solid waste management and other industries responsible for safeguarding the environment. Click for more information about comprehensive landfill services.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Launching Now, SCS MobileTools® App for Smarter Landfill Operations

December 15, 2020

Landfill Operations App

SCS Engineers’ newest environmental technology application is for use at solid waste facilities and landfills. These sites require specific monitoring and analyses of groundwater and liquids, landfill gas – LFG, and surface emissions critical to facility infrastructure and the environment.

Pete Carrico - SCS Field Services“We work side-by-side with our clients at hundreds of facilities nationwide. SCS MobileTools® supports operating decisions, whether our client is managing one site or hundreds,” states Pete Carrico, senior vice president and assistant director of SCS Field Services.” The App’s interface gives clients quick access to information that drives critical operating decisions and provides data for corporate directives and landfill gas OM&M programs for regional or national operations.

SCS MobileTools® is the iOS and Android mobile interface for the SCSeTools® platform. Access to data to make informed decisions is especially valuable when technicians are in the field, or operators are working remotely. Landfill and solid waste facility owners, operators, and technicians use the new application to observe system and environmental activity securely and in real-time on a mobile phone or device.

SCSETools

Featuring state-of-the-art technology, SCS MobileTools® provides users the ability to interact with a site or facility data, including site-specific monitoring and exceedance metrics for landfill gas, liquid levels, and surface emissions. Responsive, touch-enabled flow data charting is accessible, illustrating flow targets, reading dates, flow rates, and historical flow data analysis.

Generation and Disposal Trends

When compared year-over-year, generation and disposal trends produce information critical to assessing optimal options and solutions that represent significant savings for landfill gas Operations, Maintenance & Monitoring – OM&M programs. For this reason, the savings compound for regional or national operators.

For instance, monitoring and analyzing landfill gas generation and collection data against modeled estimates are valuable information. SCS MobileTools® handles the input, analysis, review, and export of landfill gas flow and related information, specifically flow rates, impacts on gas collection (e.g., extraction well liquid levels), and analytical data for data collection points.

Downloads and Demonstrations

In SCS’s release pipeline, SCS MobileTools® will include mapping and visualization functions in early 2021. SCS MobileTools® is available for download on the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads, Google Play for Android.

 

For additional information and demonstrations of productivity-enhancing technology, contact .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Congratulations to Sandy Ripplinger, SCS Engineers’ New Director of Health and Safety

November 19, 2020

 

On Tuesday, November 10th, SCS Engineers announced the promotion of Sandra Ripplinger to Director of Health & Safety. Sandy will oversee all industrial health and safety guidance and training for the SCS employee-owners in her expanded role, reporting to the Board of Directors and Chief Financial Officer Curtis Jang.

Ms. Ripplinger is a Board Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and Safety Professional (CSP) with three decades of experience providing occupational and environmental health and safety services. She is currently also a Project Director with SCS’s Environmental Health Services Practice in Henderson, Nevada.

Her experience includes providing industrial hygiene expertise for industrial facility health and safety audits, process safety management audits, training, environmental evaluations preventing worker exposure. “Sandy has done a great job strengthening our clients’ safety programs and evaluating the risks to prevent accidents,” said Curtis Jang. “She is a strong leader, and I’m confident she will guide our employees with ever-smarter Industrial Health and Safety (IHS) protocols.”

“I am looking forward to working with our team of business unit directors and IHS professionals, continuing to make improvements that benefit our staff and clients,” Ripplinger said. “Safety and industrial safety are an important part of people’s lives, and SCS is committed to continuing delivery of our services in line with legal compliance, industry guidelines, and our clients’ business needs.”

Sensational, Sandy! 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Recent Court and EPA Decisions Impacting Industries

May 6, 2020

CERLCA Jurisdiction and PRP Definition

A recent Meyers | Nave publication discusses the Supreme Court’s April 20, 2020 decision in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian. The firm suggests the decision adds another layer of complexity to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act – CERCLA, liability issue. The decision opens the door for state courts to hear claims that challenge EPA-defined approved clean-ups and has the potential to expand the “potentially responsible party” – PRP class for current “owners” of a “facility.”

The Court’s decision introduces new considerations into CERCLA liability analysis and settlement strategy. The Court’s holding will have many immediate ramifications, including the following:

  • It may be argued that the decision broadens the definition of PRP. CERCLA’s already-expansive definition of PRPs now includes landowners whose soil is contaminated by another PRP’s facility because a release has “come to be located” on their land.
  • The decision has the potential to unravel comprehensive and time-consuming CERCLA requirements in a federally-approved clean-up scheme. For example, if EPA waives the requirement to adopt state applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (“ARARs”) at a federal CERCLA site, it seems entirely plausible that some litigants could use a nuisance or similar lawsuit to seek to impose ARARs that EPA specifically considered and waived.
  • The decision might have created an additional layer of CERCLA requirements that apply to PRPs that desire to bring state law claims in state court. Though they were found to be PRPs, the plaintiff landowners were allowed to present their own plan to restore their own private property as long as they obtained EPA approval, but it is unclear what process the landowners would use.
  • The decision might reduce the incentive to enter into CERCLA settlements with EPA if parties are not shielded from contribution claims − which now could arise by exposing settling parties to potential litigation at the state level. While the Court noted that CERCLA: (1) encourages covenants not to sue which cap liability to the Government and (2) protects settling parties from contribution claims by other PRPs, the decision seems to contradict both of those positions and undermines finality of settlements.

 

Clean Water Act Developments

In April, the courts and federal agencies announced major developments significantly affecting regulation under the Clean Water Act – CWA and how the CWA may be applied in the future.

  • First, a U.S. District Court in Montana issued a sweeping decision under Section 404 of the CWA that purports to invalidate and enjoin the use of Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12), the widely-used general CWA § 404 permit for construction of pipelines and other utility lines across regulated water bodies, for all projects anywhere in the country.
  • Second, the Trump Administration published its long-anticipated “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” in the Federal Register, defining what constitutes Waters of the United States (WOTUS) that are regulated under the CWA, which is narrower in scope than both the 2015 rule promulgated by the Obama Administration and the pre-2015 rule now in effect.
  • Third, the Supreme Court issued a decision in County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, et al. (No. 18-260) in which the majority held that a CWA discharge permit is required where “the addition of the pollutants through groundwater is the functional equivalent of direct discharge from [a] point source into navigable waters [i.e., WOTUS].”

Each of these developments could have far-reaching implications for regulations under the CWA. Assuming the 2020 Rule withstands legal challenges, it is seen as favorable for industry and other regulated entities, while the two judicial decisions are perceived as problematic for such entities. Davis Graham & Stubbs describes each development in more detail in the firm’s recently published article.

 

MATS Supplemental Cost Finding and Clean Air Act RTR 

On April 16, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the 2016 Supplemental Cost Finding for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards – MATS, for coal- and oil-fired power plants, consistent with a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision. The agency also completed the Clean Air Act-required residual risk and technology review – RTR, for MATS. According to the EPA power plants are already complying with the standards that limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), and this final action leaves those emission limits in place and unchanged.

However, with this final action, EPA is not removing coal- and oil-fired power plants from the list of affected source categories for regulation under section 112 of the Clean Air Act, consistent with existing case law. Those power plants remain subject to and must comply with the mercury emissions standards of the MATS rule, which remains fully in effect notwithstanding the revised cost-benefit analysis.

In addition, EPA has completed the required RTR for MATS and determined no changes to the rule are needed to further reduce residual risk. The RTR satisfies the statutory requirements set out by Congress in the Clean Air Act. More information is available on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards website.

 

Proposal to Retain NAAQS for Particulate Matter

On April 14, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – EPA announced its proposal to retain, without changes, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards – NAAQS for particulate matter (PM) including both fine particles (PM2.5) and coarse particles (PM10).

According to the EPA because of Clean Air Act programs and efforts by state, local and tribal governments, as well as technological improvements, average PM2.5 concentrations in the U.S. fell by 39 percent between 2000 and 2018 while average PM10 concentrations fell by 31 percent during the same period.

EPA states it is following the principles established to streamline the NAAQS review process and to fulfill the statutory responsibility to complete the NAAQS review within a 5-year timeframe. More information about the rule can be found at EPA’s: National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM) Pollution website.

EPA will accept public comment for 60 days after the proposed standards are published in the Federal Register. EPA plans to issue the final standards by the end of 2020.

 

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks Inventory Announcement

The Environmental Protection Agency’s annual report, “Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2018,” provides a comprehensive look at U.S. emissions and removals by source, economic sector, and greenhouse gas – GHG. The gases covered by this inventory include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by “sinks,” e.g., through the uptake of carbon and storage in forests, vegetation, and soils.

On April 13, 2020, the EPA’s comprehensive annual report on nationwide GHG emissions released to the public. It shows that since 2005, national GHG emissions have fallen by 10%, and power sector emissions have fallen by 27%.

“While there was a small rise in emissions due to weather and increased energy demand from the prior year in this report, based on preliminary data, we expect next year’s report to show that the long-term downward trend will continue,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

According to the announcement, annual trends are responsive to weather variability and economic conditions. Year-over-year, national GHG emissions were 3% higher in 2018 than the prior year, due to multiple factors, including increased energy consumption from greater heating and cooling needs due to a colder winter and hotter summer in 2018 compared to 2017.

According to environmental and research groups, driving the drop’s long-term downward trend is chiefly due to a shift away from coal power generation. The 2019 drop was driven by a nearly 10 percent fall in emissions from the power sector, the biggest decline in decades [Rhodium Climate Service]. Utilities are closing coal plants in favor of cheaper natural gas and renewable energy.

Emissions from industry rose slightly last year, and are now greater than those from coal-fired power plants, most driven by a strong economy. Emissions from buildings were up, and emissions from other sectors of the economy collectively grew by more. The shift to lower-carbon energy is largely restricted to the electricity sector, and in order to meet international and state goals, state policies continue to target other sectors that collectively make up a majority of U.S. emissions.

More information is available at EPA’s website Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks.

 

For more information about potential impacts to waste, energy, or manufacturing please contact your nearest SCS Engineer’s office or your Project Manager. 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am